Tag Archives: anatomy

The ligament of Vaclav Treitz

Vaclav Treitz (1819-1872) was born in Bohemia, studied humanities at the Charles University in Prague, and obtained his medical degree from there in 1846. He then furthered his education at the New or Second Vienna School under the great luminaries of the time, Karl Rokitansky, Joseph Skoda, and Ferdinand von Hebra. He specifically worked in […]

Anatomy plates: more shocking than useful

Jacques Fabien Gautier D’Agoty (1716–1785) was born in Marseilles and learned color printing in Frankfurt while working for Jacob Christoph Le Blond, the man who had invented this process. Perhaps anticipating his later conduct, D’Agoty claimed after Le Blond’s death to have made this invention himself. Moving to Paris in 1736, he had the idea […]

Against anatomy lab

Harriet Squier Haslett, Michigan, United States   Jocular students posing over mangled corpse Make no mistake, dissecting a human cadaver is revolting. When we medical students opened the cadaver bag, we were instructed to keep the head covered to prevent it from drying out. It is difficult to dissect tissues that are completely dry. We […]

Hieronymus Fabricius of Acquapendente (1537-1619)

  The Bursa of Fabricius is a sac-like organ responsible for producing immunogenic B-lymphocytes and present only in the cloaca of birds. But the man who described it, far from being an obscure ornithologist, was a reputed professor of anatomy and surgery. Born in 1537 near Orvieto in central Italy, he had as a youngster […]

Juan Valdeverde de Amusco (1525-1588)

      In the days before intellectual property laws (and when plagiarism was sometimes viewed as a compliment to the author) Juan Valverde of Spain wrote a book on anatomy so successful that it went through sixteen editions in four languages and its illustrations remain popular to this day. It was composed in 1556 […]

Marcello Malpighi (1628-1694)

  Marcello Malpighi was fortunate to live at a time when microscopes of sufficient power became available for scientific studies, culminating centuries of attempts to use the optic properties of glass to magnify the image of objects. Such efforts go back at least to the Romans, who for this purpose ground glass into the shape […]

Giovanni Batista Morgagni (1602-1771)

  Father of fifteen and teacher of thousands, Batista Morgagni became immortally famous by going one step further than his illustrious predecessors at Padua, describing not the normal anatomy of hanged criminals but the damaged organs of patients dying from disease. For this he is remembered as the father of pathological anatomy. At the University […]

Gabriele Falloppio (Fallopius) 1523- 1562

  In the days when the outcome of an oral examination could have depended on the caprices of a whimsical professor, candidates in obstetrics–gynecology might have been asked who first described the tube that leads from the ovary to the uterus, or perhaps who was Dr. Fallopius. Such a mishap is unlikely to happen in […]

Antonio Scarpa, anatomist (1752-1832)

  Students graduating from a university not uncommonly leave and seek employment elsewhere, but by the excellence of their work attain great fame and as such repay their alma mater for their early education. This was the case of Antonio Scarpa. Entering the University of Padua at age fifteen, he studied under the famous Battista […]

Foundations of anatomy in Bologna

JMS Pearce East Yorks, England   Figure 1. Dissecting table, Bologna Home to the oldest western university,1 the University of Bologna was founded in 1088 and was a centre of intellectual life during the Middle Ages, attracting scholars from throughout Europe. The University began as a law school. Medical teaching started circa 1156 and was taught […]